The Diocese of Pittsburgh will merge 40 parishes into 14 parishes on January 4, 2021, and more parish mergers are coming July 2021 and January 2022. The upcoming merger in January will reduce the number of parishes in the diocese from 107 to 81, according to the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
For a full list of new parishes and an explanation of the parishes from which these new parishes are formed, see the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s article on the new mergers.
In July of this year, the Diocese of Pittsburgh merged more than five dozen parishes into 15 parishes, reducing the total number of parishes in the diocese from 152 to 106, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported months before that merger.
“This has not been a simple task,” wrote Pittsburgh’s Bishop David Zubik in a letter to the parishioners of these new parishes. “Jesus never promised that it would be easy to carry his message of love and mercy to others. He was clear that sacrifice would be necessary.” Zubik went on to say the parishioners were “positioning your new parish for more effective ministry by addressing financial needs, sharing resources and allowing your clergy to focus on the spiritual work for which they were ordained.”
Bishop Zubik invited the faithful of these parishes “to warmly welcome and serve each other as you become one parish family,” with “faith in Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit.”
Each of the mergers was a result of a two-year-long study involving extensive consultation with parishioners. The final results are the requests of the priest-administrator in charge of the grouping study.
According to Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), from 2015 to 2019, the number of Catholic parishes in the U.S. has decreased from 17,337 to 16,914.